Along with activating Joe Blanton from the disabled list for tonight’s start the Phillies have also juggled their rotation, lining up Cole Hamels to pitch Friday because Roy Oswalt is now aiming to return next Tuesday.
Oswalt was initially penciled in to pitch this Friday, with Vance Worley waiting in the wings as the fill-in if needed, but apparently the Phillies don’t believe his back problems will have subsided by then and opted to alter the rotation instead.
Between his back injury and leaving the team to be with his family after the tornadoes in Mississippi, Oswalt hasn’t pitched since lasting just three innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on April 26.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.